Financial Aid (ESA & STO)

Our Lady of Sorrows Academy aims to make our Catholic education, founded upon traditional principles, an affordable one, as well.  All families are highly encouraged to apply for financial assistance, no matter what their economic situation. And we are happy to help you through the process.

Resources for Financial Assistance

Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA)

As of October 2022 every school-aged child residing in Arizona is now eligible for the universal Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA). Intended to expand educational opportunity outside of the public school system, it provides public funding for a wide range of personalized education expenses, including private school tuition, tutoring services, textbooks, uniforms, and more. The source of funds and the things they may be spent on are what differentiates the ESA scholarship from the STO scholarship. Parents apply once and receive a renewal contract to sign each school year. You may apply any time during the school year and receive a pro-rated scholarship amount in your ClassWallet account. Students may not receive ESA and STO scholarships in the same school year. Learn more about ESA and apply here.

School Tuition Organizations (STOs)

STOs are non-profit, 501c3 organizations developed under the guidelines provided in the Arizona Private School Tuition Tax Credit Law, A.R.S. Section 43-1089. STOs obtain contributions from individuals and businesses, which support school choice. These donations are then made available to families in private schools in form of tuition scholarships. The STOs on our list will all respect a donor’s designation of a particular private school, like our very own Our Lady of Sorrows Academy. Most will even consider a donor’s specific student recommendation, should a donor chose to do this. Each family is encouraged to find a few family members, coworkers, or friends who are willing to re-direct their Arizona state tax liability to that particular family’s scholarship fund. Those funds are then made available to assist you with your tuition at Our Lady of Sorrows Academy. To explain the donation process to your friends and family, please direct them to our website:

How to Apply for Scholarships

Since the universal ESA amounts are currently roughly $6,500 per student in grades 1-12, per school year, most parents decide to apply to ESA. Universal ESA amounts for Kindergarteners are currently about $3,500 per student, per school year. If you prefer to apply to STOs for your Kindergartener, we recommend any of the following STOs, with which our Academy has successfully worked. If there is another organization you would like to use, please inform the school office so that we may ensure that this particular organization will work with our Academy. Submit your scholarship application to each of the STOs on our list, by clicking the link and following the prompts on their website.


School Tuition Organization Arizona Education Scholarship Foundation Institute for Better Education AAA Scholarship Foundation Arizona Leadership Foundation
Application Fee Free Free Free Free

Tips When Completing Scholarship Applications

  • Be sure to complete your STO scholarship applications every year. ESA recipients need only sign a renewal agreement each year.
  • ESA scholarships may not be stacked with STO scholarships.
  • For the organizations on our list, there are no fees to apply.
  • Complete your STO applications as soon as they become available, as most scholarships are first come, first served. In some cases you may be able to save an incomplete application and complete it once you have all required information gathered.
  • You will need the following information: your most recent federal tax filing, W2, 2 most recent pay stubs, previous year’s scholarship award letters from STOs, report cards (optional), student awards/achievements (optional).
  • After receiving an award, the STO will send you an award receipt. Please save this for your records, as you will need to submit a copy of all award receipts during the application process of the following year.

Ensure You Are Entering Correct Tuition Costs

Please see the updated 2024-2025 tuition and fee schedule here (pdf).


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I apply for ESA for one of my schoolchildren while applying for STO for another?

A: Yes. Each child has their separate application. With the current yearly ESA award amounts of roughly $6,500 per child in grades 1-12 and roughly $3,500 per child in Kindergarten, you may consider applying to STOs for your Kindergarteners and to ESA for your older children. You may also consider applying to AZ4Education (STO) for your older children despite not being able to accept both ESA and STO awards concurrently. The reason for this is that AZ4Education will not disburse an award while your child is on ESA, but they will hold any scholarship awards in your childrens' names up until grade 12. This can serve as a fallback should universal ESA ever be taken away in the near future.


Q: Do I need to apply for an STO scholarship if my child has been recommended by a donor?

A: Yes. A current completed application must be on file with the STO where the donor has recommended your child. You must apply every year. Be sure to let potential donors know which STOs work with our school by referring them to our website here. Please keep in mind that donor recommendations do not guarantee a scholarship and are not the only factor when awarding a scholarship.